My 17-year-old son started going swimming every day at our local private pool at 7 a.m. to get in shape for the upcoming fall swim season. He has a workout that his swim team coach Leanne gave to him.
I thought, I could join him at 7 a.m. to swim with him. Bonding time. Time together. I was on swim team my junior and senior years of high school at Cleveland High. Plus, just thinking, it’d be neat to do together in the summers.
I’ve been thinking of that for a while, going swimming at our private pool where we are members and where Gus goes pretty much every day of the summer.
When my daughter was home during college years for two summers, I woke up at 6 a.m. with her to ride my bicycle alongside her on her way to work in Oregon City at the Clackamas County public works department. It was six miles away each way and we’d stop by Coffee Rush for mochas and conversation and it was our time.
I so need to connect with my kids and so I wanted to do this with my 17-year-old son, who is one year away from college. I love finding ways to spend one on one time with my kids.
So, I said to him, “Hey, I’ve thought of swimming in the mornings at our pool. Mrs. wainwright did it last couple of years in the mornings and I’ve been thinking about it since then. I was on swim team in high school, like you are, and I know my doctor said swimming would be good for me. Perhaps, I could I join you tomorrow morning?”
My son said to me: “It’s kind of my time, my meditation time.”
Translated: I was not invited.
Oh okay. What should I do, I wondered.
Push? Ask again? Ask in a different way?
Nope, that just didn’t feel right. My spirit did not set well with that idea.
I talked to my husband about the situation. He agreed that I should just let him have his time. He said, boys need to grow and figure out who they are alone.
“Hand on loosely but don’t let go.”
So, I decided to get up with him early and see him when he goes off to swim, but then say goodbye as he goes off, alone, to mediate. And swim.
Boys — and girls — as they get to their teen years will begin pushing away from their parents as they try to figure out who they are. They still love us parents. They just need to test their wings.
Hand out. Be there for them. Let them go, explore, adventure alone, with their friends.
Like today, my twins and six of their friends left for a two-day camping trip. Alone. They want to strike out alone. Ride motorcycles and ride boats. Sans parents.
In this case, it was definitely not to mediate and be alone. But the idea is the same.
Thought on parenting (teens): Hang on loosely but don’t let go.
They will cherish us now, but we may not see if for a few years.